PETALING JAYA: Younger Malaysians are proving to be a vivid and enterprising bunch, making the nation proud on a world scale. Lately, two of them have been shortlisted as International Scholar Prize finalists for 2023.
Sure, two. An earlier Bernama article erroneously highlighted Nurul Nazieha Jasnie of Kolej Vokasional Keningau as the only real candidate. A pastry chef in coaching, she arrange her personal enterprise, Tia Cookie, and taught underneath privileged ladies how one can bake.
The opposite shortlisted candidate is Kenneth Chong. Hailing from Tenom, Sabah, the 22-year-old of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), is one thing of a younger prodigy in terms of all issues tech.
“Once I was in Kind 4, I used to be learning at a rural college the place we didn’t have any robotic publicity,” he informed FMT Way of life through video name.
Therefore, Chong took issues into his personal palms and at simply 17, established the Tenom Innovation Centre in 2018.
The centre teaches expertise regarding know-how and robotics and is open to kids of all ages from faculties within the space.
That very same 12 months, he invented a sonar system that may detect and repel pests infesting paddy fields.
“We had hoped to assist the farmers within the Tenom space, whose crops had usually been attacked by pests,” mentioned Chong, who received the Sabah State Younger Progressive Problem that 12 months.
Whereas furthering his research at UTP, he joined the college’s robotics membership, finally turning into the membership’s president, and main his native crew to victory on the ChemE Dice Competitors in Phoenix, USA.
The competitors challenged groups to create an environment friendly water filtration system that would present handled water to underprivileged communities.
“This competitors was centered on chemical engineering, which is certainly one of my fields of research,” mentioned Chong, including that his crew received the Fast Award for his or her design.
Nonetheless, he by no means forgot the knowledge-hungry children again dwelling. “I wanted to share my experiences with the scholars of my former secondary college. I needed to convey again what I learnt in college to my juniors.”
That is his ongoing quest and he has excessive hopes that successful this 12 months’s International Scholar Prize – the outcomes of which will likely be launched in November – will assist him accomplish his objectives.
For now, other than engaged on constructing extra subtle items of know-how, Chong holds tech workshops for faculties and college students in Tenom.
“We must always all the time share the data which we’ve got learnt. As the pinnacle of UTP’s sole robotics membership, it was a part of my duty to take action.”
Moreover, these workshops can be for the good thing about the membership, he mentioned, as college students given a head-start in know-how can be extra inclined to affix the robotics membership sooner or later.
“After we information somebody, we ourselves achieve some data. That is without doubt one of the classes I’ve learnt volunteering to steer these workshops.”
On being nominated for the International Scholar Prize, Chong mentioned he was stunned and humbled by the information.
“I couldn’t imagine that amongst 1000’s of candidates, I used to be chosen as one of many finalists,” he mentioned, including that being recognised was an honour in itself and price greater than the money prize.
That mentioned, Chong admitted that the cash can be useful to his trigger. A part of it, he mentioned, can be donated to the Tenom Innovation Centre.
“The funds would even be used for the robotics membership, to maintain issues going and to ensure we’ve got ample instruments and gear,” mentioned Chong.
Leftover funds will likely be used to begin up Chong’s personal robotics enterprise that can deal with creating robotic kits for college college students.
“Let’s say I win the International Scholar Prize. It might imply my success story has a lesson to be learnt. And that lesson? It’s essential for each innovator to maintain pursuing the trail of innovation.
“On this world, innovation is essential. We want people who find themselves progressive and inventive. Thus, I’d use my very own success story to encourage my juniors.”
Hold up to date on this 12 months’s International Scholar Prize winner by clicking here.